Currently viewing the tag: "Student Stories"

It’s a rare Fletcher student who pursues only one out-of-class activity, and our student bloggers are no exception.  First-year MALD student, Liam, is training with the Tufts Marathon Team to run in Monday’s Boston Marathon.  As many readers know, this year’s Marathon will be different from the norm, coming one year after the tragic events of 2013, and giving many runners a sense of mission that goes beyond their personal best times.  Here’s Liam’s report.

Marathon training

One of the incredible opportunities available to Fletcher students is the chance to join the Tufts Marathon Team and train for and run the Boston Marathon.  Each year, the Tufts Marathon Team gets 100 bib numbers for students, faculty, staff, and alumni from throughout the Tufts community to run the race.  With participants ranging from first-time runners to seasoned veterans of multiple marathons, Coach Don Megerle does an amazing job training and selecting the team, and he provides unmatched motivation and advice to ensure that all runners finish.  The team supports two long runs each week, as well as a weekly speed workout, and in the winter the team takes part in five long runs that cover the entire Marathon course.  By participating in these runs, Fletcher students can meet other graduate students from throughout Tufts, as well as undergrads and some great alumni and staff, helping us make connections to those we may not otherwise meet, outside the walls of Ginn library.  All runners raise money towards nutrition, medical, and fitness programs at Tufts University, including research on childhood obesity at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.  Since the Team’s inception in 2003, runners have raised over $4 million.

This year, obviously, the Marathon takes on even more significance than it normally does in the fabric of Boston.  The tragic events of April 15, 2013 united the Boston community, and each runner on the Tufts team is strongly committed to the event.  The stories of a few of this year’s 13 Fletcher runners speak to how incredible this year’s race will be.  Second-year Fletcher student Alex Nisetich sums up his Marathon story as follows:

I’m a Boston native, and the Marathon has always been a part of my life here.  I decided to run after last year’s attack, as a demonstration of solidarity with the runners and with my home city.  My own family narrowly missed being caught in the attack, and in a different year we could all have been there at the finish line.  I’m running because it feels like the best way I can support my community and commemorate the events of last year.

Training has become an end in itself as well.  Getting out on the road, especially first thing in the morning, is a great way to overcome any fears you might have of a New England winter.  The Fletcher community and Tufts are both very supportive of the runners, which makes it a pleasure to train.  The team runs really build camaraderie and make it fun.

Another second-year MALD student, Stéfane Laroche, shares a similar tale:

I have always enjoyed running and flirted with the idea of running a marathon for many years, however I never had the courage and the motivation to train.  Last year’s events at the Marathon changed my perspective.  The devastation happened so close to home that it touched me, and I decided to run in order to support the Boston Strong campaign.  When life knocks you down, you’ve got to be strong, pick yourself up, and continue to live.  It’s an honor for me to run with all those other marathoners who will pay tribute to last year’s victims and who will make a statement against intolerance and misunderstandings that fuel hatred and anger around the world.

For me, personally, I had recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan when the bombing happened.  Growing up in Central Massachusetts, the attack hit home.  Although I had always run in the past due to my job as an Army officer, I never contemplated running another marathon after an ill-advised and untrained undergrad endeavor in 2005.  Running the 2014 Boston Marathon became an obsession for me, a way to show the world that we would not let this attack change who we are.  I trained for months and ran a marathon in October in nearby Lowell and felt ready to take on the world come the Boston race in April.  Then I began dealing with lingering knee and hip injuries, so my training has taken on its own personal journey, as I’ve worked to find ways to balance recovery with running and the ever-demanding life as a Fletcher student.  For me, the process has been an incredible voyage of learning about myself, what I value, how hard I will work for it, and what it means to stand as one for a community.

Although every runner’s story is different, one commonality is certain — all 37,000 runners who make that 26.2 mile journey from Hopkinton to the finish line on Boylston Street on April 21 will do so with some pain in their legs and sweat on their foreheads, but most importantly, with pride in their hearts.  With tens of thousands of supporters cheering us along the course, we will show the world what being Boston Strong is about.  Being able to be a part of this has truly been one of the more remarkable aspects of my time thus far at Fletcher.

Fletcher runners

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It had always been my plan to line up a first-year MIB student to contribute to the Student Stories in the blog.  I just hadn’t anticipated it would take me until March.  My own lack of speed notwithstanding, I’d like to introduce Mark Attia, a first-year (at least for two more months) MIB student.  Following his second year, Mark will leave Tufts with two master’s degrees — from Fletcher and from the department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning.  That (MIB and UEP) is, to date, a unique combination, and today he writes about how he (or you) can develop expertise at Fletcher.

Mark Attia 1

Mark and his sidekick, Hazel.

For Fletcher students with wide-ranging curiosities, choosing from some 80 fascinating courses offered each semester is like shopping in an “intellectual candy store,” as one of my professors put it.  But, for those of us who have more narrowly focused interests, it may not be obvious how Fletcher’s interdisciplinary curriculum will make it possible to build a thorough body of knowledge in the area of your unique passion.  After all, there may not be a specific course on, say, private equity frameworks for emerging markets, impact investing, or sustainable commodity financing.  Yet each of these are precisely the kind of subject areas that some of my classmates are exploring, well beyond the scope of our syllabi.

To a great extent, the well designed and complementary Fields of Study and breadth requirements will help concentrate your efforts.  Even so, there is yet another avenue through which you can develop your own area of expertise: within most courses, you’ll find the flexibility to select case studies and write research papers on matters of your choosing pertaining to the subject area.  In my experience, this option is a powerful way to examine an area of scholarship from multiple perspectives, and emerge from Fletcher fully armed with an arsenal of hand-picked skills and knowledge.

Here is how I am approaching developing my own areas of expertise.  But first, let me give you a bit of background.  In my view, global urbanization is the most consequential development of our lifetime; a phenomenon which carries far-reaching implications for all facets of the socio-economy, environment, and business.  I see a rapidly evolving world where our attention will increasingly be focused on the opportunities found in emerging-market cities, and I turned to The Fletcher School to deepen my understanding of this global urban context.  Before Fletcher, I had a mix of experience, including with a major water utility and a low-income housing finance bank, and I subsequently pursued a degree in Urban and Environmental Planning here at Tufts.  For my Fletcher Fields, I selected International Finance and Banking and International Political Economy.  My aspiration is to harness these experiences and learning and join a private firm with global reach engaged in developing core civil infrastructure assets and real estate.

Right from the start, I began asking questions relevant to my interests.  For example, what is the role of real estate bubbles in triggering a financial crisis?  In one elective, History of Financial Turbulence and Crises, I was able to research elements of the relationship, and discovered ill-forgotten lessons from around the world.  How do we solve inhumane slum conditions in frontier cities?  In Development Aid in Practice, I presented to the class on an innovative incremental-housing solution that is addressing the burgeoning urban slums in India.  How is urbanization impacting the environment?  In Elements of International Environmental Policy, I wrote a final paper on the benefits and challenges for cities and surveyed policies aimed at sustainable urban development.  How do we finance the infrastructure that the world needs to grow?  In Large Investment and International Project Finance, our case analyses covered sectors from high-speed rail, to the Three-Gorges Dam, toll-roads in Europe, and oil assets in Kazakhstan.  How do we negotiate cross-boarder deals?  In Mergers & Acquisitions, a law class, I examined the takeover of Australian infrastructure assets by a Canadian firm.  I could go on, but you get the idea.

In total, I have largely relied on the magic of the proven Fletcher formula to guide my learning.  But I have also been encouraged and given the resources to dig deeper into my passion through my coursework.  (By the way, I am entirely ignoring the irreplaceable contribution of our extraordinary classmates, faculty, and guest speakers in this discussion, but these are easily the subject of other posts.)  If you’re not sure where your passion lies, at Fletcher you will embark on an intellectual adventure that will expose you to a world of fascination.  But, if you are confident that you know your academic goals, Fletcher offers a limitless reservoir of resources and opportunities to help you achieve these goals and emerge exceptionally well prepared for any career.

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Information about Cool Stuff that Students Do hasn’t come only through the Social List.  Student blogger Roxanne, now within two months of her graduation, has been very involved in promoting awareness of gender issues at Fletcher.  Today she writes about her work.

As my time at Fletcher is soon drawing to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on one of the aspects of my experience here that has been most dear to me: my involvement and leadership in the Gender Initiative at Fletcher.  In an earlier post, Jessica had asked me to briefly describe my academic and professional interest in the intersection of gender and armed conflict.  When I arrived at Fletcher, I was very excited to learn from the many scholars and practitioners in the Boston area who work on issues related to gender and violence.  I was further thrilled to discover that many of my classmates shared this interest and that momentum was developing around exploring how a gender perspective affects our understanding of international politics, development, violence, and other topics.

To capture this enthusiasm, and with much support from recent graduates, faculty, and staff, I have collaborated with fellow students to launch the Gender Initiative at Fletcher, whose mission is to enable the study and professional exploration of gender-related issues.  The Gender Initiative started with three clusters of activity:

  • The “Academic Cluster” compiled a list of gender-related courses in the Boston area to enable Fletcher students to cross-register, as well as to highlight faculty members working on the issue, and to showcase different syllabi with gender as a focus.  It also helped crystallize student interest in additional gender-related coursework at Fletcher, culminating in the creation of a new course on Gender and Human Security in States and Societies in Transition for this semester.  Students who wanted to self-design a Field of Study with a focus on gender could also receive assistance in doing so.
  • The “Speakers and Events Cluster” focused on enhancing the diversity of the guest speakers we heard from at The Fletcher School.  Students have compiled lists of men and women in the Boston area who speak on gender issues, as well as women who speak on a variety of topics beyond gender that are related to a Fletcher education.  This list is now becoming available for club leaders and event organizers who may be interested in either infusing a gender perspective into their program or ensuring panel diversity at their events.
  • Finally, the “Mission and Vision Cluster” has worked to define the objectives of the Gender Initiative, as well as to answer common questions about the value of a gender perspective in an international education.

Over the past two years, we have had the privilege of organizing and attending an array of gender-related events at The Fletcher School, in partnership with student clubs, such as Global Women, as well as the Fletcher administration.  Select highlights have included a workshop on gender and negotiations with Hannah Riley Bowles, a gender mainstreaming training with Fletcher alumna Marcia Greenberg, a gender and public speaking keynote and training with renowned media and communications expert Christine Jahnke, a luncheon talk and small-group discussion with NATO’s Gender Advisor Charlotte Isaksson, as well as talks with representatives of UN Women, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, and more.  This semester, we are really excited to have celebrated the inaugural Fletcher Women’s Leadership Award, as well as to welcome renowned feminist scholar Cynthia Enloe, among a few other exciting events.

It has been moving and inspiring to watch the Gender Initiative grow during my time here.  I have particularly appreciated the genuine enthusiasm of Fletcher’s first-year students for these topics, and their energy in joining existing efforts to make gender-related learning and professional training accessible to all who are interested in it.  While I’m sad to slowly have to leave it behind, I’m excited to see the Gender Initiative continue its important work after our graduation!

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Between the busy schedules of my student writers, and my own slow start in wrangling posts out of them, I realize this semester has so far been a little light on Student Stories.  And that makes today a good day to share a note I liked that Mirza posted on Facebook for Arms and Sleepers, his music duo.  (The A/A/S extended spring break tour is now an annual tradition.)  He shared a photo of the list of selected music he found on his Singapore Airlines flight to Germany, which included an Arms and Sleepers track.  Must have been a good omen for the trip!

In Europe?  Consider catching one of the gigs, before Mirza returns to his daily student life.

AAS

 

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The School is super quiet today — there are no classes because many students are in Washington, DC on the career trip organized by our Office of Career Services.  And one of the DC travelers is student blogger Diane.  Last month, Diane joined the annual New York career trip, and she recently sent along this report.  I’ve been slow to prompt the student bloggers to write lately, and I’m glad that Diane is kicking off the spring semester for us.

In typical Fletcher fashion, the start of my second semester at Fletcher was extremely busy.  After returning from winter break, when I spent three weeks in Montreal practicing my French and training for a Boston winter (it reached minus 27 degrees Celsius in Montreal), I returned to Fletcher early to prepare for the semester ahead.  However, before the official start to Spring Semester, there was one more event to attend.

Among the best known aspects of Fletcher are its strong alumni community and the strength of the Office of Career Services (OCS).  OCS organizes a number of networking events for its current students throughout the year, and the New York career trip was scheduled for the weekend right before classes began.  I went to New York a couple of days early so that I could visit friends and meet up with old colleagues from the UN.  I don’t need much of an excuse to go and visit, and I was really excited to be back in town for a few days.

The career trip was a whirlwind.  I had booked myself for a full day of events and meetings, starting with two career panels in the morning.  These panels were a great opportunity to meet and hear from a number of alumni who work in my area of interest, humanitarian affairs, about the transition from Fletcher to the working world, as well as the different directions their careers have taken.

Next, along with two other students, I had an intimate lunch with a Fletcher graduate who now works at Smile Train.  It was a really interesting organization to visit, and the passion of this small non-profit was clearly evident by how much they are achieving with such a small staff.

After lunch, I rushed off to a site visit with One Acre Fund.  This was one of my favorite meetings, as this organization is so young and has such a special way of operating.  It really made me reevaluate what I hope to do once I graduate from Fletcher, and the type of organization I want to work for.

I then hurried to an event organized by the Fletcher Women’s Network.  This was a different experience from the rest of the day, as the alumnae here were less interested in my elevator pitch, and instead wished to inspire our group of young Fletcher women to aim to achieve anything we want, and to try to have it all.  It was really nice to see how supportive they were to current students, and it reminded me that this community lasts a lifetime.

The final event of the day was a reception where a few hundred students and alumni gathered to network and catch up over drinks.  I was lucky enough to end my day with some close Fletcher friends, having a belated birthday celebration over dinner.  Needless to say, I returned home exhausted and exhilarated, eager to start the semester and utilize all the advice I had just been given.

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Our Admissions Committee meeting will start in 45 minutes, but I’m going to try to sneak in a blog post before I head over to the meeting room.  I wanted to update you on news from some of our blog friends.

First, our student bloggers.  They’re back on campus and I’ve been giving them a little time to settle into classes before I start cajoling them for posts.  Meanwhile, if you weren’t in Guatemala City to hear it yourself, you might like to check out Roxanne’s latest TEDx talk.

Also making news — our friend Manjula.  Trying to follow his comings and goings via Facebook, I see that he has spent an extended time in Sri Lanka generating support for Educate Lanka.  At least one of the goals of his trip was to organize a charity “Walk for a Cause,” which took place last weekend.  Along the way, he was interviewed in Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times, and also by Young Asia Television.  (No translation available, but you’ll get the idea.)

Finally, and closer to where I’m sitting right now, our own Christine has made Fletcher news, in that she has been promoted to Admissions Coordinator.  At the moment, she is wearing two different hats (her old one and her new one — both stylish, of course), but that leaves little time for writing Consult Christine posts.  Once she settles into only one job at a time, she can start up writing again.

So that’s the round-up!  And I’m off to the Admissions Committee meeting.

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Fletcher wrapped up fall semester classes on Monday, and today finds students tucked in quiet spaces studying for exams.  As the semester ended, student blogger Diane said she was thinking about how her classes fit together.  Here are her reflections.

DianeIn choosing my classes for my first semester at The Fletcher School, I decided to go with a mixture of fulfilling as many of my depth and breadth requirements as possible; choosing classes that I was most excited about; and taking the class I was most afraid of.  The end result was a diverse range of classes, which fit nicely together like a jigsaw puzzle.

For my first semester, I enrolled in Econometrics, Agricultural and Rural Development, Law and Development, Humanitarian Action in Complex Emergencies and Quantitative Methods (which was a module).  As I explained in my previous post, I am interested in food security issues, particularly in Africa.  Each of these classes has allowed me to view food security issues through a different lens, and has exposed me to new analytical frameworks I could never have imagined before starting at Fletcher.

In my Agricultural and Rural Development class, we learned about agriculture and food policy in developing countries from an economic perspective.  In Law and Development, we examined the role of law and legal systems in the economic and social development of developing countries.  This course has opened my eyes to a new perspective on food security issues; particularly highlighting how complicated legal systems that often exist around land can affect food security and resilience.  Humanitarian Action in Complex Emergencies specifically focused on conflict situations, providing a contextual understanding of the political dimensions involved in responding to humanitarian needs in such situations.

Econometrics, on the other hand, has shown me the importance of statistical analysis in development and humanitarian programming.  The professor combines her own research from Niger with the theory to provide context for the practical applications of econometrics.  I now grasp the importance of research-based programming, as a means of not only being cost effective, but also better targeting communities’ needs.  Quantitative methods was a six-week module that took place in the first half of the semester and that covered the basic quantitative foundation required for classes such as econometrics, microeconomics, and finance.  It was a great class to take in my first semester, boosting both my quantitative skills and my confidence.

The biggest problem that I have discovered at Fletcher is that there are so many different courses on offer, and I am constantly hearing about courses that others have taken that I would like to enroll in next semester or next year.  With only four semesters at Fletcher, I have learned that I need to be strategic in choosing classes, focusing on my goals and the skill sets I hope to gain during my graduate degree.  I am excited to see what my final selection of Fletcher courses will end up looking like!

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My second-year student bloggers are busy people.  We last heard from Mirza in the summer, when he reported on his internship.  Today’s post will give readers a very good sense of why this is the first time we’re hearing from him since classes began this semester.

MirzaAfter some months of silence, I am happy to be writing again for the Admissions Blog.  My silence has been rooted in several factors: 1) Dealing with a busy academic schedule (nothing new at Fletcher); 2) Balancing a couple of paid job positions with my academic schedule; and 3) Attempting to be a responsible second-year student and remain fully engaged in the Fletcher community.  The first two months of my second year indeed proved to be quite chaotic, but I would describe this as controlled and happy chaos.  For me at least, the self-awareness that I am successfully managing my own Fletcher chaos seems to be the biggest difference between the two years thus far.

One striking change that I’m noticing as a second-year student is that I feel significantly more grounded as a member of the Fletcher community than I did last year.  I have come to understand more clearly who I am at Fletcher; what Fletcher and the people here can offer me and what I can offer them; when to say yes and when to say no to various events and social activities; how to assess my personal opportunity costs (chatting with a friend in the Hall of Flags for 15 minutes or spending those 15 minutes answering emails — the former increasingly taking precedence over the latter); and how to take advantage of this special time in my life to the fullest extent possible.  Having spent the summer back in the working world, this last point has been especially resonant.

This is not to say that the first year at Fletcher is less meaningful, but simply that by the time the second year rolls around, one is likely to have gained a better understanding of the nuts and bolts of this rich community.  One will also have figured out how to perform most effectively and efficiently in the general chaos that is graduate school.  For me, this meant becoming more strategic with my time.  While I have four paid jobs this semester, they each play an important role in enhancing my résumé with relevant skills.  A good amount of my work responsibilities have also directly complemented my academic coursework, thus bringing my overall learning into a cohesive whole.  For example, as an Academic Technology Fellow at Tufts University’s Educational and Scholarly Technology Services, I have been exposed to numerous web-based learning platforms and tools that have nicely complemented my coursework in a Harvard Education School course on education and technology.  My role as Business Director for The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, on the other hand, has provided me with an opportunity to put into practice some of the skills acquired in my marketing and entrepreneurship courses at Fletcher.  Together, these connected experiences will allow me to tell a rounded story in my cover letter and résumé when it is time to jump into the post-Fletcher job hunt.

I have also really embraced what most Fletcher students would identify as the essential component of the Fletcher experience: our lively and passionate community.  So, besides academic and work obligations, I have tried to stay very active in Fletcher’s social life.  Whether supporting the Los Fletcheros on Thursday nights at Johnny D’s in Davis Square, attending events organized by the many Fletcher student groups (recent highlight: a lecture titled “Do Human Rights Matter?”), driving to Cape Cod with my classmates for Prof. Hess’s annual barbeque picnic, engaging in (somewhat) heated debates on the Social List, group-biking from Fletcher to Harvard, or offering to be a second-year buddy to a first-year student, I have become truly connected to and inspired by the multifaceted world of Fletcher.  Many of the people I have met here over the last year will undoubtedly play an important role in my post-graduation life, and these tight-knit social networks — strengthened through shared experiences in and outside of classroom — are what make Fletcher such a unique place.  Understanding how to balance this cornerstone of the Fletcher experience with my academic, work, and personal responsibilities has been an important accomplishment for me in my second year of graduate school, and has accordingly led to the aforementioned comfort of a “controlled and happy chaos.”

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Returning to the second-year student bloggers, we pick up Scott’s story as he considers the post-Fletcher future that awaits him after graduation next May.  As you’ll read, to Scott’s surprise, the learning and exposure he gained at Fletcher have caused him to reconsider his planned career path.

Scott SnyderIt’s interesting being a graduate student (and the ripe age of 32) and confused about the type of work I want to do after Fletcher.  I came in with a very set plan: to use the Master of International Business (MIB) program to transition from the global health sector to the field of international economic development, by filling gaps resulting from my lack of work in the private sector.  I was focused on international organizations, such as the World Bank, or consulting firms that would value my non-profit work and mindset but would also (thanks to the MIB program) be confident in my abilities to understand financial markets.

Fletcher offered me the chance to meet and listen to many individuals who worked at the organizations I had originally targeted.  Unfortunately, around February of last year, after multiple career panels, information sessions, and my own research, I started to question whether this career track would be the right fit for me.  At the same time, I was enjoying all my business courses and dissecting cases — especially within the areas of strategy and business development.

Coming to this realization in February/March was a problem because I had to completely switch my internship search, and by the time I did, most of the internships I had pinpointed were already filled.  I made the best of this situation by taking a position in May that was similar to my previous work (but was salary based — always a good thing) and then took the remainder of the summer to do something very exciting.  I used the time to cycle across the US — from the west coast of Oregon to New York City — raising funds for the charity run by one of my best friends from college, the Ace in the Hole Foundation.  (If interested in that journey, you can read about it here.)  It was the experience of a lifetime, but it didn’t boost my future job search the way a summer internship could have.

Which leads me to where I am in the first semester of my second year at Fletcher.  I have decided to cast a wide net and to try to meet with as many people as possible this fall, to help focus my job search, which should start this winter.  I have learned a lot already, namely that I’d love to focus on technology, health/wellness, and, if possible, to work at a start up or even start a venture of my own.  My current classes — Starting New Ventures, at Fletcher, and Strategy and Technology, at Harvard Business School — definitely have had an influence on my current thinking, but I’m also continuing to speak with individuals outside of that realm.  Making up for lost time last summer, I also have an internship in downtown Boston at a hybrid venture capital and creative agency, which has given me exposure to multiple industries that could interest me.

With these commitments, and a couple more classes, I have found myself busy.  It’s a different kind of busy than my first year, when most of my time went into tough, but great, classes.  As a second-year MIB student, I have completed the program’s core courses and I have the flexibility to choose classes that allow me explore new avenues.  I’m actually excited for the whole process, even if it will be a challenge.

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Allow me to introduce Diane, the next of our new student bloggers, who joins Liam, Scott, Roxanne, and Mirza on the team.  Today Diane will tell us how she made the decision to pursue graduate studies at Fletcher, where her Fields of Study are Development Economics and Humanitarian Affairs.

I thought I would introduce myself by telling you about my experiences prior to Fletcher, as well as how I ended up here, at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

After graduating with my undergraduate degree, I worked for a time in the East Asia unit of the Oxfam Australia Head Office in Melbourne.  In 2012 I left Oxfam and moved to New York to intern in the policy section of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), working on food security research and resilience policy.  I had previously interned with the United Nations World Food Programme in Nepal, during the 2008 food crisis, and was keen to gain more varied experience.

It was at my first job that I realized the importance of technical, management, and leadership skills in the workplace.  While I had spent my undergraduate degree learning about the theory of the development field, once in the workplace I recognized the difference between great managers and leaders and mediocre ones, and realized that if I wanted a long career where I would be able to make an impact and add value to the organization I work for, I needed to go back to school and learn these skills.  I started researching the type of programs that would satisfy both my interests and my aims for further study, and began to look out of Australia for this.

Diane at UNIn truth, my journey to Fletcher began just over a year ago.  While I was based in New York with the UN, I took the opportunity to explore different schools and programs in the U.S.  A colleague at OCHA noticed the GRE books on my desk and offered to discuss various professional international relations programs with me.  Being a Fletcher graduate, the colleague encouraged me to look at the Fletcher School.  I remember looking online and the excitement inspired by the course offerings, which would allow me to develop management and leadership skills while I pursued my interest in humanitarian affairs and food security.  I was soon on my way from New York to visit Fletcher for an evaluative interview.  It’s fair to say that my visit and interview went very well, as I find myself now a member of the 2015 class.

In the year following that interview, I returned to Melbourne to work with a small not-for-profit, running a women’s group and homework club for Sudanese refugees.  I also spent time completing the necessary requirements for graduate school applications, and preparing for my arrival (once I was accepted into The Fletcher School).  In late August, which is towards the end of the Australian winter, I spent 28 hours flying through four cities to finally arrive in Boston and begin my new and exciting journey as a MALD student at The Fletcher School.

After Fletcher (a topic that I feel we spend a lot of time discussing here — mainly due to the programs offered by the Office of Career Services), I plan on utilizing all the skills and networks I will have gained at Fletcher to find a research or policy role in the Food Security field.  My ultimate goal is to work for the United Nations in the field of Humanitarian Affairs. Fletcher’s amazing staff and professors, and the accomplishments of the alumni, have put me at ease at my ability to achieve my goals.

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